Dolly Parton Proves The Sky is the Limit as She Performs New Rock Song at Induction Ceremony

by Emily Morgan
Photo by: Jeff Kravitz / Contributor

Is there anything Dolly Parton can’t do? Once again, the queen of country music proved her career has no bounds as she performed her new rock song during her induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

She closed the induction ceremony with a new song titled “Rockin'” on November 5. Then, of course, the “Jolene” singer came out dressed to the nines, donning a leather outfit. She definitely looked the part as she strummed a rhinestone-covered electric guitar— a nice change from her typical acoustic guitar stylings.

“And you thought I couldn’t rock!” she exclaimed to the crowd before she blew attendees away with her out-of-the-ordinary performance.

Dolly Parton later told outlets that she’d written “Rockin'” specifically to play in Los Angeles.

“It’s a fine little song, and it’s real rock-y, so I’ll have something fun to play off of, to ease some of the tension.” The lyrics reference many of the genre’s earliest icons, after which Parton gave attendees some licks on a burner of a solo.

Earlier in the evening, Americana artist Brandi Carlile and P!nk joined Parton for an opening rendition of her classic, “Coat of Many Colors.” Sheryl Crow also covered “9 to 5” with Zac Brown.

They closed out Parton’s portion of the show with a star-studded rendition of her iconic song “Jolene.” Parton was also joined by fellow 2022 inductees Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, Simon Le Bon, Rob Halford, and Eurythmics.

Dolly Parton inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame after initially turning down the nomination

In addition, Bruce Springsteen came on stage to pay tribute to the late Jerry Lee Lewis. He performed his classics such as “High School Hop” and “Great Balls of Fire” alongside John Mellencamp.

Previously, when Parton was nominated for the honor, she requested her name be removed from the ballot. At the time she said she didn’t feel she had earned a place in the hall of legends.

“I really do not want votes to be split because of me,” she said at the time. “So I must respectfully bow out.” However, the event’s organizers refused to take her name off the ballot.

Parton later said that if she was inducted, she would “accept gracefully. “I, of all people, would never want to stir up any kind of controversy, I am not that person,” she said. “But also I am not the kind of person to avoid the truth of how I’m feeling about a thing.”

Parton has previously mentioned she intends to make a rock-centered record that will most likely include “Rockin’.” She’s also expressed an interest in collaborating with other legends on the album.

“My husband is a big hard rock ‘n’ roll fan. For years I thought, ‘One of these days I’d like to do an album mainly just for him, just to kind of do it,'” she said. “When I got nominated, I thought, ‘Why not just go ahead and do it while the iron’s hot? Maybe have some of the greats, the legends of rock ‘n’ roll sing along with me.”